“Listen to me!”
Everyone silently screams those three words. Bosses to employees, employees to bosses, spouses to each other, parents to children, children to parents, voters to politicians, talk show hosts to their audience – the list is endless. We all crave to be heard and to be understood. We all just know that if the other person were to truly listen, he or she would surely understand our point of view. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn’t, mostly because the other person has an entirely different frame of reference. They really DO see things differently than you.
Pastors are usually wonderful listeners, but unless you’re talking with a psychologist or life coach who’s paid $350/hour to listen to you, that other person is usually too busy wanting YOU to listen to him, just waiting for an opening to speak, and sometimes not waiting! And it’s a shame, too. Listening, really listening is always worth the effort since listening allows you to gain information, clarity and knowledge.
There are different types of listening: